Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I can't believe that it's the end of October! Winter will soon be upon us and we've been hustling our butts trying to prepare for it. As you all know, this has been a miserable year for me. Lately I've been trying to make lemonade from all the lemons that have been hurled my way.

Z has been preparing for his future by learning to cook. He's been learning how to make all his favorite dishes. He even tackled turkey pie, including making the pie crust. Now he's learning to bake. The boy likes his sweets and knows that he'll never be able to afford store-bought baked goods when he's living on his own.

Z has overcome the panic attacks he was having about driving. Every day, after work, we've been honing his driving skills. He's doing quite well, but still has to work his way up to driving downtown.

Our October weather has been HORRIBLE! We've only had 2 sunny days all month. The rest of the days have been rain mixed with snow or day-long mists. We made the most of the 2 sunny days and got most of the winterizing done. I'd still like to get the outside of the windows washed, but that doesn't look too promising.

We got the snowblower out and the mowers, hose, and bike put away.
We got the AC unit tarped.
We moved and tarped the camper. During this process we discovered 2 cracks and a hole in the camper roof. We patched the holes, but didn't have time to check for damage in the ceiling. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we won't find much damage next spring.

Our internet service continues to alternate between extremely fast to extremely slow to nonexistent. The repair guys are starting to scratch their heads in consternation. We've become a quest to them. Why does this shit always happen to US?

L ordered a new, custom-built computer.(Sore subject. Don't ask!) While waiting for the new computer to arrive, our old computer acquired a trojan and had to be restored. Then our monitor died. We're now up and running again with a new computer and monitor. This means that I am now learning to handle a new operating system. Is it just me, or is Vista a gigantic step backwards? About the time I get used to Vista our free Windows 7 upgrade will arrive and then I'll be back to square one again. *Sigh*

Those last 2 paragraphs should explain why I haven't been online lately.

On the bright side, our garage has become super-organized. I designed a super-sturdy, 8 ft long x 3 ft high x 32 in deep workbench that the 3 of us built this month. I'll try to post pictures of it later this week.

THEN...Z and I utilized the new, organized workshop area of the garage and built a new computer desk for L and I. I designed the desk with a CD and DVD shelf in the back....
...and storage pockets on the sides. Look at all the CLEAR floor space beneath the desk! My design also included getting the miles of wires and cables off the floor and out of sight. L thinks I'm a genius.

For me, the best part of the desk is being able to push the chair under the desk. No more squeezing around the giant desk chair to get to the bathroom or put away laundry! $45 worth of lumber, screws, stain and poly produced a 49"wide x 37" deep x 27" tall computer desk that doesn't wobble when we touch it.

We WERE going to lay our new kitchen floor (that's been taking up space in our living room since May) last weekend. My back has been giving me problems for the past week(Yeah, it's stress related.), so we postponed that project until next weekend. Right now I'm working on polying the cove molding that will cover the 1/4" gap that's required on laminate flooring. Tomorrow I hope to start removing the existing molding. Then I'll start measuring to figure where to start with the first piece of flooring. We've got a LOT of weird angles and corners in our kitchen so this will be tricky.

All of this designing and creating has kept my mind off all the tragedies in my life. I'm hoping that I can keep this up until this year is finally over. I'm praying that 2010 will bring us more happiness than heartache.


At 10/27/2009 7:35 PM, Blogger Courtney said...

I have a lot on anxiety when it comes to driving at night. I found that Omega-3 supplements help quite a bit. Oh, and I used to have a headboard that matched your chest of drawers, with the oak leaves and acorn drawer pulls. But it was haunted, and I had to get rid of it. I sincerely hope that the rest of 2009 and all of 2010 are better than the last ten months. It sucks hearing how miserable you've been.

At 10/27/2009 7:36 PM, Blogger Courtney said...

I meant 'of'. Grrr.

At 10/27/2009 8:36 PM, Blogger Jeannie said...

Great new desk and workbench! You are giving Z a great example of how-to's that will last him for his whole life - most kids won't know half what he will. I used to panic driving too - I think for a teenage boy, it's better than being cocky and taking chances. Let him know that other cars have brakes too if he misjudges and not to worry what other drivers are thinking.

Hope you feel better soon - you sure get a lot done for not feeling well.

At 10/27/2009 9:22 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

I don't know whether to feel flattered or ashamed that the threat of a phone call from me produces a post from you so quickly! ;-) I absolutely love your desk! You are a genius. I love all the storage up underneath. Great job to all of you, especially the designer. Compared to you all, I've been sitting on my butt for weeks! I'll post what we've been up to, when I get time, but I certainly haven't accomplished as much as you.

At 10/27/2009 10:24 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

What? I LOVE Vista! I don't get why people have such a problem with it. I find it way more user-friendly than previous operating systems. Mind you, I came directly from a Mac.

I'm glad you've been productive and have gotten so much done! I also hope 2010 is a way better year for you guys!

Go Z!

At 10/27/2009 10:38 PM, Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

I sure hope that 2010 will be a less stressful year for you all.

Good for Z learning how to cook - how smart to be sure and teach him. When I married Troll he could cook - what a blessing that has been in our marriage!! lol. He basically taught me. (I was always a baker, but a hopeless cook...)

Beautiful desk. I mean really. It's beautiful.

At 10/28/2009 3:01 PM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

Oh wow guys. You have been busy. Congrats on Z finally being able to drive.. It will take time with his ticks but he will do just fine. We have faith in him doing well.

I hope to a lot of happiness in 2010 also. You have been through so much this past year. Hugs my dear sweet adopted grandmother to my girls. they ask about you all the time esp lately with the holidays coming up..

At 10/28/2009 5:01 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Courtney, we've got to get back on our vitamin/supplement regimen! I've been lax on that issue this year. :(
That dresser has been in our family for over 100 years. It's the only item from my childhood that my parents have actually let me keep. If that dresser were haunted it would be by some flaky ancestor of my Mom's. That would be a pretty boring haunting.

Jeannie, THANKS! I honestly think that the best homeschool lessons I've given Z are practical life lessons. Z has had his own toolbox since he was a toddler. Now we're adding a few power tools to his collection. Lately, he has started collecting kitchen tools too. He should be able to take care of himself pretty well when he leaves home....I hope.

I guess you're right. Z will never be an overly aggressive, or cocky, driver, which is a good thing. Thanks for that perspective!

VV, LOL! I forgot to put that paragraph in my post! I was gonna say that I almost didn't post yesterday just so we could gab on the phone. Thanks pal! ;)

I think I needed to create something just for the ego boost. I love to admire my finished projects.

WC, my problem with Vista is that they moved and/or renamed a bunch of stuff that has always been in the same place in all the other Windows versions. I now have to "copy" instead of "save as".
L, who is a Windows wizard, has been having a helluva time finding the files he needs in Vista. His mantra lately has been: "I'm gonna learn this damned system if it kills me!" ;)

The next thing Z wants to learn how to make is your Sour Cream Posy Rolls. I make sandwich buns out of that recipe and they're Z's favorite!

Grizz, I keep telling Z that he'll probably have to teach his wife how to cook, or be the principal cook in his family. I don't know many kids, or adults for that matter, that cook from scratch anymore. :(

A little stain and elbow grease can make even cheap wood look good. ;)

Tweets, I hope 2010 is a better year for you guys too!

At 10/30/2009 1:45 AM, Blogger Cherie said...

I hope things turn around for you guys soon.

Hey, your desk design. Fantastic! Love that the chords and wires are off the ground. Much easier access plus they don't foul up vacuuming. Nice! Very good the way you made it custom fit your space. And all that nifty storage. Impressive and beautiful. Good job!

As for Z: a man who can cook - super cool!

At 10/31/2009 8:32 PM, Blogger SME said...

Nice! I admit it'll be sweet, not having to squish past the chair to get into the bathroom.
The storage was a great idea.

I really haven't had any problems with Vista. It's OK once you get used to it.

Z's doing more at his age than most guys do in their 30s. He'll be set for life.

At 11/01/2009 3:31 AM, Blogger Gardenia said...

This has just been a super weird year, has it not?

Oh, I wish for your talent! Our garage only seems to get worse when an attempt to organize it is made. "H" just threw some light bulbs out there - literally - and there are busted pieces on the floor - he throws trash out there on the floor - makes me so crazy. What's that all about? I know, I know, who knows but him. I plug away - any ideas on what to put over a carpet for my art room - I priced chair mats, and they are like $79 a piece....silly, silly. Ideally would like a wood floor, but I could't lay it I fear.

Z's cooking! The cookies homemade and not store bought are much much better for everyone - no preservatives - fresh! Go, Z, go! This may give him a love and a fulfillment for the rest of his life!

I too really love Vista - I had heard horror stories but it must think as weird as I do, because for me it was an easy transition...

I think you could make money by making and printing plans for your garage organizers and your desk!!!

At 11/01/2009 12:46 PM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

You know i cant express how proud of Uncle Z we are here. The girls ask about him every so often.. they ask if he remembers them sitting on sitting on his lap last winter.. That is not what I typed the first time.. Yikes.. Anyway Go Z GO...

I sometimes wish my mom would have taught me more to cook by hand than boxed meals..

At 11/05/2009 11:52 AM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

If I were rich, I'd buy you a Linux box. For one, Z could learn how to code C++ and Java which would make him a lot of money. That's a job you can do from home and not have to deal with people. I'm working from home now as I write this.

For another, you don't have to worry about viruses and everything else. Sure, there is a learning curve as everything in Linux has a different name or application than what you're used to in Windows. But after awhile, you'll love it. It works.

We're teaching Junior how to cook as well. Well, mostly bake, but some cooking.

He's not old enough to drive but will get there soon. Driving sucks so I understand Z's reluctance.

And yeah, this year hasn't been good for you. Well, at least your team might win the big one. I wouldn't get your hopes up though because the Vikings always seem to find ways to choke.

And I'll say a prayer tonight for you guys' 2010 being much better than 2009.

At 11/05/2009 3:49 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Thanks Cherie! The design for the desk was just another variation of my basic bookshelf design. Tell Tom that I put backs on the shelves this time. :)

SME, you wouldn't believe how easy it is to get to our bathroom and closet now!

Gardenia, oddly enough the garage is the ONLY place that my guys actually put stuff back where it belongs. I'm really anal about having a "place" for everything, but the guys just leave stuff where it fall in the house. :(

You're right; you'd never be able to lay a floor by yourself. We just started laying our new laminate wood floor in our kitchen. According to the instructions, 1 person can lay this....WRONG! There are places where it has taken all 3 of us at one time. I'll post about this experience when we finish the project.

Tweets, it's NEVER too late to learn how to cook from scratch. You'll save a TON of money and eat a lot healthier. ;)

ZS, CONGRATS on the new job!!

Z has messed with Linux quite a bit. He partitioned the hard drive on his last computer and ran both Windows and Linux. He also has a Linux operated netbook. He LOVES the open-source concept! L and Z are both gamers, so Windows is a necessary evil. As a result, they've both become very quick at rebuilding after we get a virus.

Your prayers mean more to me than you'll ever know. God bless you my friend!

At 11/08/2009 11:45 AM, Blogger Squirl said...

Great job on the desk! As far as Windows 7, I've heard it's a better version of Vista. I don't think there will be much of a change for you. Good luck with 2010


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